Generally speaking, people who retire early tend to already make physical fitness and wellness a priority. After all, it can be difficult to maintain the stamina required to power through a career at an above-average pace without the wellspring of energy that comes from positive exercise, diet, and lifestyle choices.
And so, maintaining fitness and wellness after an early retirement may not be too much of a challenge for many of our readers. All that added free time can only mean that wellness activities get more attention than ever!
One of the most popular fitness activities for retirees is yoga. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, your yoga class may be in the vicinity of a craft brewery or winery, and the practitioner may enjoy an adult beverage after their practice. A regular yoga class can be part of one’s social interaction, part physical fitness, and part mental health self-care. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a mild climate and plenty of outdoor beauty, you might enjoy yoga classes on the beach or in parks. Not in the mood to leave the house to practice? Enroll in a Zoom class and practice in the privacy and comfort of your home.
#2: The Peloton Bike
On the other end of the spectrum from a peaceful yoga class among like-minded practitioners is the Peloton Bike, a high-intensity home training stationary bike that can be paired with a subscription for access to a library of fitness class videos. The videos aren’t just to help you power through your cycling sessions; the subscription-based library also includes strength training, stretching, and yoga classes. While the Peloton may carry a hefty price tag, hardcore fans of the bike will tell you it’s worth every penny.
Once you have retired, you’ll probably find that you have more time to get out into nature and go on some hikes. The benefits of hiking include the physical aspect of the activity and the overall wellness benefits of getting out into nature. Some of those physical benefits include a stronger core, more muscular lower body, improved balance, boosted bone density, improved blood pressure, and lowered heart disease risk. Research has also shown that hiking can boost your mood while combating symptoms of anxiety and stress. Hey, you’re retired now! You can let go of some of that stress.
#4: Tai Chi and Qi Gong
Retirees in China often spend time in parks practicing tai chi and qi gong, exercises with flowing movements that are used to help the body heal and relax while connecting the practitioner’s mind and body to a flow of energy. Qi gong is less based in martial arts and is typically regarded as being easier to learn, but both studies can be incredibly beneficial as you enjoy your retirement years. The Mayo Clinic reports that tai chi can improve mood and aerobic capacity, increase energy and stamina, improve flexibility and balance, increase muscle strength and definition, and decrease depression and anxiety.
#5: A Healthful Diet
Now that you have more time on your hands, you’ll have less of an excuse to eat poorly. You don’t have to cram fast food between meetings anymore. Instead, focus on eating a healthier diet so that you can feel better during retirement. Heart.org recommends adding high-quality, nutrient-dense plant-based foods into your diet and eating less meat (or eliminating it). Another common recommendation is to take prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Prebiotic supplements typically come in a water-soluble powder; probiotic supplements are available as capsules, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, and probiotic drinks.
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. Retiring early can offer many benefits, and travel may be one of the most amazing of them all. Travel allows you to experience other cultures, see beautiful places, and live out your dreams. When you travel, you can avoid boredom, try new foods, connect with family and friends, meet new people, become inspired, feel a sense of connection with the world, become energized, stay mentally stimulated, and have absolutely wonderful adventures.